Ste. Anne becomes official archdiocesan shrine

Ste. Anne Parish, Detroit’s oldest parish and the second-oldest continually operating parish in the United States, has been designated as the official archdiocesan shrine to the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, meaning anyone who venerates the relics of Ste. Anne during her feast day can receive a plenary indulgence.

Plenary indulgence offered to those who visit on July 26 feast day

Ste. Anne Parish, Detroit’s oldest parish and the second-oldest continually operating parish in the United States, has been designated as the official archdiocesan shrine to the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, meaning anyone who venerates the relics of Ste. Anne during her feast day can receive a plenary indulgence.

Detroit — For more than a century, people of faith have journeyed to Ste. Anne Parish on the city’s southwest side, offering their petitions to the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Upon receiving a special favor from the patroness of Detroit, they’ve left behind crutches, canes or even a wheelchair that were no longer needed, thanks to the intercession of Mary’s mother.

What’s been common practice in the Archdiocese of Detroit since 1886 has now been recognized as an official pilgrimage site, as Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron on April 19 designated the parish’s shrine as the official archdiocesan shrine to Ste. Anne.

“In canon law, a shrine can be designated as a diocesan or national shrine to a particular saint,” said Msgr. Charles Kosanke, pastor of Ste. Anne Parish. “The bishop of the diocese has the authority to declare shrines within the diocese. In the Archdiocese of Detroit, we have the National Shrine of the Little Flower to St. Therese in Royal Oak, the St. John Paul II Shrine in Orchard Lake and now the latest one with St. Anne in Detroit.”

Ste. Anne Parish, Detroit’s oldest parish and the second-oldest continually operating parish in the United States, has been designated as the official archdiocesan shrine to the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, meaning anyone who venerates the relics of Ste. Anne during her feast day can receive a plenary indulgence.

As the official archdiocesan shrine to Ste. Anne, people can visit on the saint’s feast day — July 26 — and pray certain prayers to receive a plenary indulgence, which typically requires the faithful to go to confession and attend Mass shortly after visiting the shrine.

“What’s primary in visiting the shrine is venerating the relics of Ste. Anne, offering your prayers and petitions to her,” Msgr. Kosanke said. “Pilgrimages are penitential or spiritual actions. For centuries, the purpose of a pilgrimage wasn’t a site-seeing trip, it is a spiritual or penitential practice to experience God in a special way in the hopes your penitence is answered.”

The relic, a piece of bone from Ste. Anne, were given to the parish from the Shrine of Sainte-Anne d’Auray in Brittany, France, in 1886, when the current church building of Ste. Anne was built in Detroit.

Since the relic was placed inside the church, people have traveled far and wide to venerate Ste. Anne at the site.

“A pilgrimage in some ways is a search,” Msgr. Kosanke said. “It’s a search for the presence of God in your life. That means different things to different people. It’s really supposed to inspire your faith and at the same time be spiritually fruitful in practicing your own faith and giving petitions you would like fulfilled.”

Pilgrims will have a chance to venerate the relics of Ste. Anne during her feast day, when the parish hosts its annual novena, July 18-26, with daily Masses at noon in the chapel and at 7 p.m. in the main church, except on Sunday, July 22, when there will be no 7 p.m. Mass.

Ste. Anne Parish, Detroit’s oldest parish and the second-oldest continually operating parish in the United States, has been designated as the official archdiocesan shrine to the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, meaning anyone who venerates the relics of Ste. Anne during her feast day can receive a plenary indulgence.

“The novena is a fantastic opportunity for people who have never been to Ste. Anne’s to come and experience the richness of diversity and spiritual power that exists in the community,” said Danielle Center, mission director of the parish. “Each of the nights we will have a service led by a different ethnic group, showcasing the diversity of the parish.”

Ste. Anne already boasts an impressive Catholic history for all of Michigan as the parish established soon after Antione de la Mothe Cadillac landed on the banks of the Detroit River and established the city in 1701. It’s also the parish from which Fr. Gabriel Richard ministered when he established the University of Michigan and advocated for the construction of a road that later became U.S. 12/Michigan Avenue.

“It’s really hard to talk about the history of Detroit and not bring up Ste. Anne,” Center said. “Ste. Anne is really everybody’s second home. No matter what parish you belong to, we want you to come visit Ste. Anne and see where it all started. And see that while we have this tremendous history, we also have a vibrant community continuing the legacy set by so many from so long ago.”

Ste. Anne novena and vigil
The annual novena to Ste. Anne will take place at Ste. Anne Parish, 1000 Ste. Anne St., Detroit, from July 18-26 at 7 p.m. Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron will celebrate the 7 p.m. Mass July 26 at Ste. Anne Church, and also will celebrate an ecumenical vigil with Fr. Nicolaos Kotsis, pastor of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Ann Arbor, at 7 p.m. July 25 at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, 9844 Woodward Ave.